The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove social security numbers for Medicare beneficiaries’ identification cards by April 2019. Beneficiaries will be assigned a unique Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). CMS will start to mail new cards with the MBI to beneficiaries in April 2018. This transition may require system changes in your practice and in your billing systems. More information and resources from CMS.
11/9/2017: New Tools
CMS has added new tools and information to its listing of resources to help you and your practices with the upcoming transition.
These include a timeline to demonstrate the dates of important steps or milestones, a list of 5 steps to take to get your practice ready and an updated slide deck from the 11/9/2017 CMS Open Door Forum with more information and background.
2017-10-27 New Medicare Card Project Special Open Door Forum — November 9
Thursday, November 9 from 2 to 3 pm ET
This call will educate State Medicaid Agencies, Medicaid providers, Managed Care Organizations, Medicaid partners, and other Medicaid stakeholders about the change from Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers to new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs). A question and answer session follows the presentation. CMS discusses:
- Background and implementation
- MBI format
- Timeline and milestones, including the transition period
- Beneficiary outreach and education
- How to get ready for the new number
- Dial-In Number: 800-837-1935; conference ID #: 49255212
- TTY services dial 7-1-1 or 800-855-2880
For more information, visit the New Medicare Project website and Transcripts webpage.
2017-10-03 CMS Issues Guidance on New Medicare Cards
CMS has started outreach efforts about the upcoming transition to new Medicare Beneficiary Identification Numbers. Click here to review the letter CMS recently sent to all enrolled providers and a fact sheet that includes useful information to help you prepare for a smooth transition and avoid post-transition claims processing delays
2017-09-08 – Make sure your clearinghouses/vendors know about this upcoming CMS Open Door Forum on CMS’s approach to removing social security numbers from beneficiaries’ Medicare identification numbers
New Medicare Card Project: Clearinghouses and Vendors Special Open Door Forum — September 12
Tuesday, September 12 from 2 to 3 pm ET
This Special Open Door Forum is an opportunity for clearinghouses and vendors to learn more and ask questions about the CMS approach to change Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) to new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs). Learn about:
• Background of the New Medicare Card Project
• Implementation of new Medicare numbers
• Format of the new number
• Timeline and milestones
• Transition period
• Outreach and education
• What you need to know to get ready for the new number
• Participant Dial-In Number: 800-837-1935
• Conference ID #: 49250097
• For TTY services dial 7-1-1 or 800-855-2880.
2017-07-27 – CMS has re-branded the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI) as New Medicare Card (NMC). CMS continues to develop tools and resources to help physicians and their practices prepare for the change in how Medicare beneficiaries will be identified. Proper preparation will help minimize any disruption to the processing and payment of claims for services. Stay up-to-date on the transition away from the use social security numbers and how you can prepare your practice with the information available at https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html
2017-07-13 – CMS provides guidance on possible system changes to support MBI implementation:
New Medicare Cards with New Numbers: 3 Changes You May Need to Make
MACRA requires CMS to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards with a new Medicare number (currently called the Medicare Claim Number on cards) to your patients in April 2018. You may need to change your systems to:
- Accept the new Medicare number (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI). Use the MBI format specifications if you currently have edits on the current Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN).
- Identify your patients who qualify for Medicare under the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). You will no longer be able to distinguish RRB patients by the number on the new Medicare card. You will be able to identify them by the RRB logo on their card, and we will return a message on the eligibility transaction response for a RRB patient. The message will say, “Railroad Retirement Medicare Beneficiary” in 271 Loop 2110C, Segment MSG. If you use the number only to identify your RRB patients beginning in April 2018, you must identify them differently to send Medicare claims to the RRB Specialty Medicare Administrative Contractor, Palmetto GBA.
- Update your practice management system’s patient numbers to automatically accept the new Medicare number or MBI from the remittance advice (835) transaction. Beginning in October 2018, through the transition period, CMS will return your patient’s MBI on every electronic remittance advice for claims you submit with a valid and active HICN. It will be in the same place you currently get the “changed HICN”: 835 Loop 2100, Segment NM1 (Corrected Patient/Insured Name), Field NM109 (Identification Code).
If you use vendors to bill Medicare, contact them if they haven’t already shared their new Medicare card system changes with you; they can also tell you how they will pass the new Medicare number to you. Visit the New Medicare Card Provider webpage
for the latest information.